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Nothing here is hard to do -- you just need to plan ahead to brine and marinate the chicken (the two secrets to this recipe’s success).
Brining the chicken (soaking it in salted water) overnight seasons it all the way to the bone and helps keep it moist. Next, marinate it in buttermilk with salt, pepper, cayenne, and dry mustard. The marinade tenderizes the chicken -- and gives it a kick.
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Adding a little cornmeal to the flour mixture means more crunch and flavor. When you transfer the chicken from the marinade, don’t let too much drip off. The moisture will help the flour mixture bind to the chicken.
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Safety first: Put a towel on the floor to catch spatters, which would make the floor slippery. Fry the chicken until it’s golden brown, cooking pieces of similar size together. Between batches, remove crumbs from the oil with a skimmer.
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Set the fried chicken on a wire rack to drain and to keep the crust crisp (it can get soggy on paper towels). Let the oil cool completely in the pan, and then pour it into a cardboard milk or juice container to dispose of it.